GREAT VALLEY is a term applied to the region in California between the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Ranges, drained by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. Jedediah Smith first explored and trapped in the valleys in 1822, but, on his second attempt in 1827, the California authorities ordered him to leave. The Hudson's Bay Company then sent trappers in for ten years (1829–1838), by the Willamette Valley from Fort Vancouver, and reaped a rich harvest. The valleys, now known usually as the Central Valley, are the agricultural heart-land of California.
Howard, Thomas Frederick. Sierra Crossing: First Roads to California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
Phillips, George Harwood. Indians and Intruders in Central California, 1769–1849. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993.
Carl L.Cannon/s. b.